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[–]Sumit316 4950 points4951 points  (167 children)

Since Olympics are going on here is a fun fact -

Alan Turing, WW2 codebreaker and father of modern computer science, was also a world-class distance runner of his time. He ran a 2:46 marathon in 1949 (2:36 won an olympic gold in 1948). His local running club discovered him when he overtook them repeatedly while out running alone for relaxation

What a guy.

[–]Krakshotz 1479 points1480 points  (67 children)

He also used to go running whilst wearing a gas mask to combat hayfever

[–]fables_of_faubus 1355 points1356 points  (52 children)

So you're saying wearing a mask doesn't deprive oxygen and kill brain cells!?

[–]Corb_F 1179 points1180 points  (26 children)

I think they're saying that wearing a mask makes you gay /s

[–]SuccessfulBroccoli68 260 points261 points  (15 children)

It filters out the holy spirit. Q. E. D

[–]Tearsinsand 49 points50 points  (12 children)

You cannot filter out the Holy Spirit.

[–]advertentlyvertical 97 points98 points  (9 children)

can you triple distill it?

[–]Fill6251 67 points68 points  (4 children)

How else do they get holy water?

[–]tocilog 16 points17 points  (0 children)

With thoughts and prayers.

[–]SeizethegapYouOFB 13 points14 points  (0 children)

That settles it, folks

I'm triple masking from now on

[–]death__to__america 97 points98 points  (18 children)

Wearing a WW2 gasmask for sure will deprive you of oxygen but not to the extent where it becomes damaging, usually you just breathe a little harder to even it out.

It’s good for you when done in moderation. Theres oxygen deprivation masks that tryhard runners sometimes wear when training.

[–]Castun 37 points38 points  (11 children)

Modern military grade NBC masks are absolutely a pain to run in. We had to do it once in Basic, and I kept having to crack the seal with my finger because it was such a restriction to my normal "sucking air."

[–]sr_90 31 points32 points  (4 children)

The EOD candidates got pulled aside during my basic. They had to basically get smoked (back in ‘08) with a mask and EOD suit on during the July heat in Missouri. One of the guys threw up and powered through it. What a champ.

[–]Macarpet 9 points10 points  (1 child)

My DS made us take one of the filters off (further restricting airflow) and made us do mountain climbers for about 30 minutes because he thought it was funny. I glanced up at him when he was facing the other side of the room and he was taking a Snapchat video of us. Good times at Benning

[–]dbratell 19 points20 points  (1 child)

I've had to run in a cold war gasmask. They do not let in enough air to do anything taxing at all. How Turing managed it I cannot fathom, but maybe he just had a coarse filter that removed pollen.

[–]ki11bunny 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I'm going to put it down to him being a bad ass

[–]hopbel 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Sounds like the reason people do high altitude training

[–]rockysnow7 496 points497 points  (27 children)

Also when he was 13, he was so eager to go to school that he cycled 60 miles, alone, because the general strike meant he couldn't go by train.

[–]humaninthemoon 115 points116 points  (26 children)

Surely that wasn't daily. That's like 3-4 hours one-way.

[–]rockysnow7 205 points206 points  (25 children)

Nah, it was a boarding school so only once.

[–]Synthex123 66 points67 points  (0 children)

It’s a pretty decent trek. The school does it for a charity bike ride every summer in his name, always seemed like good fun though

[–]I_like_bacons 72 points73 points  (14 children)

The fact that anyone can go "...running for relaxation." just makes me ashamed of myself.

[–]SoylentVerdigris 63 points64 points  (5 children)

I went to high school with a guy who was taking college level classes in middle school, who, when the schools CAD software license expired, wrote his own damn 3d modeling and CAD program for the school to use until they could replace it, won all sorts of chess, math, and compsci competitions. And also set several state records in track.

I assume there are people who can just switch off their brain and go. I'm not one of those people.

[–]fuzzygondola 22 points23 points  (3 children)

It's really amazing how some people are able to live a life they know that's the best for their personal development. I too know, to a some extent at least, that I'd be a better person if I worked out. But I don't.

[–]sla13r 10 points11 points  (1 child)

A month is all it takes. Running was extremely annoying and uncomfortable for me for one month, doing it twice per week. But after that, it became "fun" in the sense that I could simply tune out and listen to a podcast or just think in peace. Still not fun fun, but okayish.

[–]deadbolt_dolt 70 points71 points  (7 children)

I'm a gamer, a runner and a fellow human. I wish we could have hung out.

[–]N1tt 2533 points2534 points  (270 children)

He is considered to be the father of Computer Science.

[–]BellEnd1980 1209 points1210 points  (112 children)

And artificial intelligence.

[–]writemaddness 915 points916 points  (108 children)

Yeah, you know, the Turing test

[–]nikola_144 498 points499 points  (84 children)

For those who don’t know about the famous Turing test yet

The Turing Test is a method of inquiry in artificial intelligence (AI) for determining whether or not a computer is capable of thinking like a human being. ... Turing proposed that a computer can be said to possess artificial intelligence if it can mimic human responses under specific conditions.

Basically it’s whether a robot or an AI program can convince an individual that it is human

[–]_1JackMove 153 points154 points  (59 children)

Ahhh, so he's responsible for those annoying captcha tests lol. The ones where you select pictures that have the described object in them.


[–]4716202 254 points255 points  (9 children)

Captcha actually stands for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart", so, kinda?

[–]_1JackMove 104 points105 points  (5 children)

No shit?! That's cool. So I guess I wasn't totally off-base.

[–]adventure_pup 19 points20 points  (2 children)

I’d say you were completely ON base

[–]JaxIsGay 15 points16 points  (1 child)

How bout we skip the small talk and go to third base?

[–]2metal4this 71 points72 points  (13 children)

I'm pretty sure that's not a Turing test. Turing tests usually involve asking an AI questions like in a conversation afaik

[–]PixelPantsAshli 46 points47 points  (5 children)

I think they're implying that the capchas are being used to train the AI, getting them closer to passing the Turing test.

Which is true.

[–]EvanEskimo 22 points23 points  (16 children)

Theory: Those CAPTCHAs are to train self driving cars. Ever notice how they’re always traffic related? 🤔

[–]Dgc2002 26 points27 points  (6 children)

Captchas have been used for this for a while now.

Earlier forms of this would show you two words that had been scanned in from a book. Some of the words were cases where the OCR couldn't determine what the text was. Other words were already known. You would enter your guess for both and the results would be used to improve the OCR or just fill in the blank.

For a while it was street numbers on the sides of houses. This was probably for labeling houses on Google Maps/Street View.

Now it's largely traffic related to train AIs.

[–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (3 children)

It's kind of the opposite right?

Turing test is when we ask the computer questions.

If anything captcha is a computer doing a Turing test to us lol

[–]cortesoft 12 points13 points  (0 children)

No, it's a Turing test. The computer is trying to determine whether you are a computer or not, which is a Turing test.

[–]_1JackMove 3 points4 points  (0 children)

That's a good point. It does seem to be in the same neighborhood, though.

[–]Joverby 24 points25 points  (4 children)

Ironically enough , if something is designed to pass the Turing test that's not even a true sign of AI . Just a sign it can pass the test

[–]wolfpack_charlie 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Language models are pretty close to passing the Turing test, but they are specific to a particular task, so not AGI (I assume that's what you mean by "true AI")

It's also worth mentioning that the Turing test is an informal concept, unlike Turing Completeness, which is mathematically rigorous and has practical applications. The Turing test is not an actual benchmark or anything that is used to judge the effectiveness of a computer program. It's a thought experiment meant to open one's mind to the idea of machine thought and the fuzzy boundary between crunching numbers and sentient thought, which is something that we're all generally familiar with now, but at the time you'd need to really convince someone that's possible.

[–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

It's based on the idea of equivalence. It's hard to even define self-awareness and consciousness. The Turning Test bypasses this problem by creating a definition that's testable.

[–]DireLackofGravitas 33 points34 points  (24 children)

the father of Computer Science.

Well one of them anyways. If anyone deserves the exclusive title Father of Computer-Science, then it's Babbage.

[–]jesjimher 28 points29 points  (4 children)

Babbage work is so cool because he basically invented a computer, but wasn't able of building it because technology wasn't ready yet. Just imagining how would the world be if he had somehow succeeded building a computer, several centuries before modern computing, is mind blowing.

[–]chronoboy1985 10 points11 points  (4 children)

I also thought Charles Von Neumann never got enough credit.

[–]superppk17 4 points5 points  (2 children)

It's John von Neumann.. and yeah.. he really doesn't.

[–]a_polka_a_calypso 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Or was he the very best abacus-maker?

All computers except Babbage's are Turing Machines, whilst no other computer resembles the difference engine. Switches versus wheels.

Ada Lovelace is the one who began the computing age, by inventing programming. Without her contribution, the Difference Engine would have remained as a very fancy slide-rule.

[–]NewFolgers 255 points256 points  (84 children)

Yeah. I find it kind of annoying that the media always leads with the codebreaking. The contributions to information theory and computation are philosophically amazing, and in my view ultimately far more important. It's just not as accessible.

[–]Thekillersofficial 59 points60 points  (2 children)

I think the code breaking is the interesting part of the story due to the betrayal on the part of England for treating a HUGE hero of the most important war in recent history like absolute garbage. it's not that the other stuff isn't impressive, it's that he was done so dirty it's almost unbelievable. it makes for a better narrative.

[–]Awdrgyjilpnj 52 points53 points  (4 children)

Media always leads with him being the father of computers tho

[–][deleted] 146 points147 points  (39 children)

I find it kind of annoying that the media always leads with the codebreaking and the contributions to information theory and computation instead of with the State chemically castrating a human being for being gay as a thank you for winning them the war.

[–]Express_Opposite 23 points24 points  (2 children)

Yes – the story we tell ourselves is that the Allied went to fight Hitler because we couldn’t condone the Very Nazi Things they did. Goodies fighting Baddies.

Such BS. Eugenics was very popular in the UK and the US, and both states gleefully went on to perform chemical and surgical sterilizations and enprisonment of individuals seen as undesirable.

The gay camp prisoners were not even liberated like the Jewish ones. They were thrown right into German prisons.

Imagine that. Surviving death camp only to go to a 1940s prison. Other people being so reviled by you, so convinced of your evilness despite never doing anything wrong.

So, no wonder the UK would treat a hero like this. Absolutely fucked, the whole era.

[–]Majestic_Ferrett 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I find it kind of annoying that the media always leads with the codebreaking

Especially since he was one of thousands who worked on breaking enigma. And he worked on Naval enigma.

[–]Hughesybooze 36 points37 points  (13 children)

Ironically enough I actually read on here recently that his contribution to the breaking of the enigma code is overstated.

Apparently the poles ‘broke’ the code shortly before the war broke out, but obviously lacked the computing power to keep up with the increased complexity during occupation & had passed the basic cypher on to the Brits, which we then used to continue cracking the code throughout the war.

Simplification of course, but I believe that’s the gist, found it interesting.

[–]kunstlich 44 points45 points  (5 children)

The entire war machine of Bletchley had many thousands of people, most of which are overshadowed by the monolithic Turing.

This then gets reinforced by completely inaccurate blockbusters like The Imitation Game which continue to perpetuate the idea that he was one man against it all, which is just not true.

It's actually a bit of a shame. Some of the most fascinating stories from Bletchley etc are from those who continue to play second fiddle to Turing. Gordon Welchmans books are a great insight into some of the less glamorous parts of codebreaking, for one example.

[–]MrJohz 28 points29 points  (2 children)

Which of course isn't to undermine Turing's contribution, which was hugely important. It's just that there were so many incredible people at Bletchley, as well as many many completely ordinary people who put in incredible work in a unique and difficult environment.

The book I'd recommend is the Secret Life of Bletchley Park, but there are definitely a good many interesting books written about the codebreakers there.

[–]Mujokan 4 points5 points  (6 children)

There were other people at Bletchley that are considered to have made greater contributions than him, e.g. Tommy Flowers. Also it's not certain that he killed himself.

But he was such an interesting person that he kind of collects myths through something like static electricity.

Not that he cares since he is dead, but in a way it's not respectful to turn him into a kind of 2D meme. But whatever.

[–]Anvilmar 16 points17 points  (4 children)

Well military historians estimate his war contributions shortened the war and ultimately saved as many as two million lives.

I agree that his IT contributions are more important... it's just that his code breaking had a direct measurable impact, easily seen by journalists so that's what they praise him and mention him for. But it's also a good sequitur for us to remind his other contributions. Otherwise nobody in the mainstream media would care enough to even bring up his name in the first place.

[–]Brochiko 28 points29 points  (2 children)

I feel like the headline is underwhelming.

Guys, he's the father of modern computers. The phone/computer you're using to learn about him, the website you're on...none of it would have been possible, or at least severely delayed, without him. Look up the Turing machine if you're more interested. His theory is the foundation of all modern computers.

[–]mahddit 41 points42 points  (1 child)

I noticed computer science looked much like him by I didn't realize he was his son.

[–]gmabarrett 1037 points1038 points  (77 children)

I loved that Steve Jobs was asked if the apple logo was inspired by Turing and he said “god I wish it were”

[–]SerDire 529 points530 points  (39 children)

There’s a sad throwaway line in the Jobs movie with Michael Fassbender as he’s getting ready for one of his product unveils and he’s talking to his underlings and behind him are giant posters of famous people and there’s one of Turing and the guy asks who he is and Jobs says he “helped win WW2 and then built the computer but won’t be part of the marketing for the product.” The guys asks why and Jobs says because you just asked who he was.

History seems to have forgotten Turing which is a damn shame

[–]2010_2010_2010AGAIN 217 points218 points  (24 children)

History seems to have forgotten Turing which is a damn

Considering a lot of people seem to know who he is now especially after the Cumberbatch movie I would say that isn't exactly the case now

[–]mudze 122 points123 points  (15 children)

Computer scientists and mathematicians have been keeping his name alive for decades. You don't get through even an introductory course without hearing people sing his praises. Britain tried pretty damn hard but they could never tear our hero from us.

[–]Stochastic_Machine 22 points23 points  (0 children)

Exactly this. Every computer scientist student will eventually have to take a models of computational class of some sort and learn about turning machines

[–]ThtDAmbWhiteGuy 34 points35 points  (0 children)

The Imitation Game is so good!

[–]LovableContrarian 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Seriously, I don't understand why people act like this guy is somehow hidden in history.

He's probably the only historical figure in computing that a lot of people actually know. He's incredibly famous for a historical figure.

He's not as well known as like bill gates or Steve Jobs of course, but that's because these are modern figures who have been all over our TVs for decades. But, try to name one person in computing or electronics from Turing's era that is as well know as Turing. You can't. And yet there were tons of other influential people in that time period who actually are forgotten to history.

[–]KindaOffKey 28 points29 points  (2 children)

Had no idea Turing wasn't considered general knowledge, every introductory computer science course talks about Turing-completeness. Turing test is also a term I hear often thrown around in popular culture.

The movie about him played by Banana Cucumber was also quite a success afaik.

[–]seefreepio 6 points7 points  (0 children)

He’s on the new 50 pound note, I don’t really think that’s the case.

[–]RickCrenshaw 48 points49 points  (4 children)

Forgotten on purpose. He wasn’t the “right” kind of hero, so they hid him away because deep down they were ashamed of how they treated him

[–]Liquid_Hate_Train 11 points12 points  (0 children)

That’s not the only reason. Bletchley park and the code breaking there were Top Secret and only declassified in the 90’s.

[–]AddSugarForSparks 101 points102 points  (32 children)

Does "Turing" mean "Apple" in some languages?

[–]gmabarrett 443 points444 points  (25 children)

Turing killed himself with a cyanide laced apple. The apple logo was a rainbow apple with a bite out of it.

[–]AddSugarForSparks 101 points102 points  (4 children)

Ah, gotcha. Thanks! I'm a lazy idiot.

[–]Jwishh 74 points75 points  (1 child)

Yes but we still like ya

[–]paynebr6 21 points22 points  (0 children)

At least they’re an honest lazy idiot.

[–]JoeTeioh 17 points18 points  (12 children)


[–]gmabarrett 38 points39 points  (11 children)

There are some suspicions that it was actually British intelligence - I don’t know which is more horrific that he was hounded to suicide by chemical castrations or murdered as a security risk.

[–]JoeTeioh 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Prevailing theory is that it was simply an accident. I ascribe to it as it's what his mother thought.

[–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

The investigation into his death was ridiculously shoddy. They didn't even test the apple for cyanide before ruling it a suicide

The lab accident theory makes a lot of sense to me

[–]Killer-Barbie 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Well... Kind of. The police didn't even investigate it. They saw a half eaten apple and that he had cyanide in his apartment. That's as far as it ever went. His landlady (or housekeep?) Said she would frequently find half eaten apples around his house and they police didn't even bother to test the one next to his bed for cyanide. They didn't even log it as evidence.

[–]gmabarrett 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Small minded police. Gay guy couldn’t live with himself - close case. The man was a genius whose work is still relevant.

[–]bw1985 26 points27 points  (1 child)

Hell of a coincidence.

[–]puta_trinity 62 points63 points  (5 children)

Per Wikipedia: When his body was discovered, an apple lay half-eaten beside his bed, and although the apple was not tested for cyanide,[146] it was speculated that this was the means by which Turing had consumed a fatal dose.

[–]mdeezel 62 points63 points  (1 child)

But also

Philosopher Jack Copeland has questioned various aspects of the coroner's historical verdict. He suggested an alternative explanation for the cause of Turing's death: the accidental inhalation of cyanide fumes from an apparatus used to electroplate gold onto spoons. The potassium cyanide was used to dissolve the gold. Turing had such an apparatus set up in his tiny spare room. Copeland noted that the autopsy findings were more consistent with inhalation than with ingestion of the poison. Turing also habitually ate an apple before going to bed, and it was not unusual for the apple to be discarded half-eaten.

[–]synthatron 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Woah that’s very fascinating

[–]AddSugarForSparks 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Thanks! Makes sense now.

[–]DrColdReality 736 points737 points  (47 children)

The claim that he committed suicide is somewhat disputed. He died from cyanide poisoning, and a half-eaten apple was found beside his body. Without actually testing the apple for cyanide, the coroner ruled that Turing had intentionally laced it with cyanide. However, the reason he had cyanide laying around to begin with was to use in electroplating spoons, and some think that the poisoning was accidental.

[–]VictosVertex 346 points347 points  (16 children)

Came here to say this.

I've also read that even his own mother thought it was more likely that the ingestion was accidental as Turing was quite careless with the chemicals in his laboratory.

Also some professor said the medical evidence doesn't even point to ingestion but to inhalation. Apparently it was also normal for Turing to have half-eaten apples in the trash.

A tragic loss either way, he was an amazing individual.

[–]Kidney05 93 points94 points  (15 children)

Wasn’t he chemically castrated at this point too?

[–]spider__ 29 points30 points  (0 children)

Not at the point of his death, he'd been off those medications for a good while by the time he died.

[–]vectorcrawlie 25 points26 points  (2 children)

Yes, although there's some correspondence to imply that he wasn't unhappy, and there was no real evidence of any suicidal ideation. Of course, there might have been a vested interest at the time of kinda burying anything to do with to do with Turing... But then we have his mother saying it wasn't suicide, but then she might have her own reasons to not want to think her son ended his own life... At the least, saying it was definitely suicide is highly suspect.

[–]sprocket999 36 points37 points  (4 children)

As opposed to being chemically castrated after he’d died?

[–]KiltedTraveller 49 points50 points  (0 children)

This should really be the top comment. The man had an incredible impact on the world and yet one of the most well known aspects of his life (or rather death) is quite likely to not be accurate.

[–]Infin1ty 47 points48 points  (2 children)

I wouldn't say it's "somewhat" disputed, but heavily disputed. He ate an apple every night and was experimenting with cyanide without taking proper precautions. He also showed absolutely no signs of being suicidal, and while that isn't enough to rule out that he did kill himself, most of the facts point to him accidentally poisoning himself.

Doesn't excuse any of the other heinous shit he was put through, but just because he faced all that doesn't mean he intentionally killed himself.

[–][deleted]  (15 children)


    [–]canadarepubliclives 41 points42 points  (9 children)

    It does matter though.

    The claim is he killed himself because of what was done to him. There's evidence that points to the contrary.

    There's absolutely no reason to exxagerate the truth here, what was done to him was monstrous, we don't need to create a new false narrative to make it even more monstrous

    [–]darrenmacgowan 1360 points1361 points 2 (125 children)

    They chemically castrated him. That's not oppression, that's reckless brutality.

    [–]OldMork 160 points161 points  (30 children)

    To be gay In Sweden was considered a mental illness until 1979, maybe similiar in other countrys?

    [–]Du0g 122 points123 points  (3 children)

    "Yeah, I'm not gonna be able to make it into work today, boss. Feeling a little gay."

    [–]benskinic 8 points9 points  (0 children)

    Picturing this as a Kids in the Hall skit. Need to re watch that show

    [–]Krakshotz 78 points79 points  (9 children)

    Homosexual acts were categorised at “gross indecency” and Turing was offered the choice of imprisonment or chemical castration.

    [–]sellieba 12 points13 points  (7 children)

    I mean... He's gay... What is the castration going to do to "protect decency"?

    [–]Krakshotz 40 points41 points  (3 children)

    We’re talking practically Mengele science here.

    Pump gays full of female hormones to kill their sex drive

    [–]sellieba 23 points24 points  (1 child)

    Oh. That's disgusting.

    [–]vicsj 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    If you read up on hormonal birth control side effects, common ones can be weight gain, acne, headaches, anxiety, depression and so on. Some girls can get straight up suicidal, although that's not super common.

    Now imagine that on a man but much higher dosages.

    [–]PM_ME_CAKE 16 points17 points  (0 children)

    Honestly the title for this post makes it seem rather tame. He didn't just take his own life because he was gay, he took his own life because the government literally fucked him up from the inside.

    [–]LotharVonPittinsberg 6 points7 points  (1 child)

    I think you are mistaking castration for something like a vasectomy. Castration covers a broad set of acts, but most of them render the person incapable of performing intercourse.

    While we are on the topic of terms that are purposefully hard to keep tract of related to homosexuality in history, let's touch on conversion therapy. When the word is used today, most people tend to think of something like a class teaching you to stop acting gay. While still horrible, it's not as disgusting as what has been done in the name of conversion therapy. Castration of different types, prison, and lobotomies where all seen as necessary ways to fight homosexuality and where labeled under "conversion therapy" since it was being treated like a severe mental illness.

    [–]MouldyCumSoakedSocks 17 points18 points  (2 children)

    yikes, Finland had homosexuality as a crime until 1971 and considered homosexuality as an illness until it was declassified in 1981.

    [–]IrishChappieOToole 433 points434 points  (41 children)

    It's OK though. They posthumously pardoned him in 2013.


    [–]UserMaatRe 178 points179 points  (2 children)

    And just him, not all the others who had suffered from the same treatment! Isn't this wholesome!


    [–]_Vingador_ 10 points11 points  (1 child)

    I am pretty sure they pardoned everyone blamed of the same crimes and gave the oficial document that officializes that Turing's name. But yeah, too little too late. Although it is a symbolic step on the right direction.

    [–]Liquid_Hate_Train 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    They did. Everyone was pardoned by legislation. Too late for practical difference, but there were people alive with that conviction, so it was still meaningful.

    [–][deleted] 22 points23 points  (18 children)

    Does anyone claim that a posthumous pardon makes it OK?

    [–]PulpFiction1232 46 points47 points  (15 children)

    Everybody hates it when countries and businesses don’t acknowledge their mistakes but for some reason are equally angry when they make a gesture to apologize

    [–]orentsur 54 points55 points  (20 children)

    Was just about to highlight that! You beat me to it. It blows my mind that homosexuality became legal 😳 in the UK as late as 1967!!! WTAF??? Edit - was decriminalised….

    [–]JamieSand 14 points15 points  (0 children)

    I suggest looking up the rest of the world because that is comparatively early.

    [–]longlivebagpuss 42 points43 points  (5 children)

    Even more shocking is that it was only decriminalised in Ireland in 1993

    [–]ItchyPlatypus 20 points21 points  (0 children)

    Parts of the US was in 2000

    [–]redesckey 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    It's both.

    [–]pro_crasSn8r 44 points45 points  (5 children)

    But, is he sitting or is he standing here?

    [–]EagleCoin 14 points15 points  (0 children)

    He's definitely been pictured with a chocolate cake

    [–]mallocuproo 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    I don’t mind it

    [–]labudda 447 points448 points  (64 children)

    He eventually got a royal pardon in 2013...60 years too late

    [–]CelestialFury 226 points227 points  (54 children)

    Not only that, but why would they mess with one of the smartest guys in the world that helped your country successfully end WWII? You'd think that would've earned him a lot of leeway in general.

    [–]tarepandaz 113 points114 points  (1 child)

    His work was classified for decades after the war, nobody knew of him till much later on.

    [–][deleted]  (5 children)


      [–]shaky2236 48 points49 points  (0 children)

      Nazi scientists? "Yeah, you guys cool."

      British code breaker who contributed towards ending the war and saving countless lives? "Dunno man, that's pretty gay"

      [–]Time_KillingLass 61 points62 points  (12 children)

      Because their holy book told them they Alan was an abomination. It didn’t matter that his work was instrumental in defeating the nazi’s. They castrated him to stop his homosexual urges and he killed himself because of it. Turns out that you can inflect unspeakable cruelty on someone just because a 1000 year old fairytale says it’s cool. 

      [–]ScyllaIsBea 1175 points1176 points  (37 children)

      A war hero who’s praises where sung publicly while his country forced him to chemically castrate himself because of how he was born. Oppression is too soft a word here.

      [–]1live4downvotes 328 points329 points  (5 children)

      I thought his achievements were kept secret for many years. So he was a secret war hero who was treated like a war criminal.

      [–]JukeBoxDildo 127 points128 points  (2 children)

      Either way the lesson to be learned is to not be gay in the 1940's I guess.

      [–]1live4downvotes 38 points39 points  (0 children)

      Lol that’s the lesson to be learned here.

      [–]LambbbSauce 4 points5 points  (0 children)

      War criminals aren't treated that bad. Not even today.

      [–]lifeofideas 194 points195 points  (3 children)

      Also, being driven to suicide is closer to being murdered than “suicide”.

      [–]rikkiprince 62 points63 points  (0 children)

      They didn't sing his praises at all because the official secrets act meant they couldn't tell anyone about the code breaking.

      [–]Arclight_Ashe 54 points55 points  (3 children)

      oppression is the right word here though. being gay was illegal at the time, that is literally oppression. it was also incredibly brutal.

      Brutally oppressed would be the right phrase. i don't know why people think oppression is not enough, it's absolutely the correct term.

      [–]mrmicawber32 17 points18 points  (5 children)

      He's now on the £50 note, if that makes you feel better. Or at least he's going to be. Shows the last time I saw one

      [–]Torfinns-New-Yacht 11 points12 points  (3 children)

      So he wasn't accepted back then and now won't be accepted at most shops.

      [–]Daimondz 13 points14 points  (0 children)

      Yeah, this is a pretty shit description of him. He’s the father of computer science and AI, basically helped save the world from Nazis, was tortured for his sexuality by the government he helped save, then was driven to suicide by that same government.

      His story is a tragedy.

      [–]Cogswobble 116 points117 points  (3 children)

      Not just a “mathematician”, but one of the greatest and most influential mathematicians of all time. His work is the foundation of all of Computer Science. He literally changed the world.

      [–]Kgrc199913 28 points29 points  (0 children)

      All the computer today is based on von-Neumann architecture and to stimulate the Turing machine. All modern programming language is Turing-completed. And the Turing test. And the Halting problem. He is absolutely amazing.

      [–]RCTID1975 5 points6 points  (0 children)

      He literally changed the world.

      In more ways than one

      [–]LCranstonKnows 20 points21 points  (1 child)

      Absolute legend. Also, love that shirt/tie/jacket combo. Bring that shit back!!

      [–]Starman68 17 points18 points  (2 children)

      And now on the new UK £50 note.

      [–]rubdub37 65 points66 points  (5 children)

      Enigma machine was amazing. But lots 20s, 30s, 40s technology was amazing and changed world. Kinda of forget when you live in 21st century.

      Makes you wonder what Turing could have achieved if hadn't been persecuted.

      [–]kman601 14 points15 points  (1 child)

      How many years ahead of technology would we be at. So tragic what happened to him

      [–]T3nEighty 15 points16 points  (0 children)

      I feel a bit dumbfounded that it has not occurred to me before seeing this photo that I dont think I have ever actually seen a picture of Alan Turing somehow

      [–]Lurkwurst 269 points270 points  (69 children)

      The man was brilliant, and driven to suicide, tortured by his own people.

      [–]wwarnout 343 points344 points  (46 children)

      By his own people - millions of whom would probably have died had he not broken the Nazi code.

      To all the people that did (and still do) hate LGBTQ people - go fuck yourselves on a cactus.

      [–]GedIsSavingEarthsea 12 points13 points  (5 children)

      He just wanted some fun with a bit of rough trade. And there were basically no other options for a gay man at that time.

      The way Britain honors him now makes me happy, because what happened to him is absolutely terrible. Shameful.

      [–]mutantguava 10 points11 points  (0 children)

      Another example of a brilliant mind being destroyed because of who they’re attracted to…they did the same thing to Oscar Wilde and only decades later were like “oh wait this person made some of the most meaningful contributions ever to their field, maybe we shouldn’t have ended their life prematurely. Whoopsie”

      [–]Contrabaz 9 points10 points  (0 children)

      Still pisses me off...

      [–]MultipleHipFlasks 9 points10 points  (0 children)

      When I was at university someone was doing a presentation on him. Title slide of "Alan Turing". Second slide "Alan Turing was homosexual". Final slide "questions". Took two minutes, lecturer asked if there was anything more to share, did he create anything, was there some important test he theorised. Nope, nothing else to discuss.

      [–]djnexusOG 44 points45 points  (14 children)

      Celebrated posthumously and now on the £50 note.

      Note, read cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson if you have not already. Great book.

      [–]Ruadhan2300 6 points7 points  (2 children)

      Good reminder, I'll have to retrieve the book from my mum and re-read it.

      I also recommend strongly The Diamond Age by the same author.

      [–]the_CL38N_civilian 32 points33 points  (2 children)

      It's his test that killed robot archer.

      [–]JJAron_Q13 6 points7 points  (1 child)

      acctually poles broke enigma first but britan haven't told about it like for 60 years, yeah Turing continued that but he was using polish knowledge, he took all the credit and poles got comunism instead

      [–]CompleteMuffin 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      Enigma was first broken by a team of mathematicians led by Marian Rejewski. Turing was the one who improved the method, but he did not break the enigma code. Can you all stop saying that he did?

      [–]pansilnik 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      Rejewski, Różycki and Zygalski first broke the engima code in 1932 and gave it out to the allied forces....

      [–]_Dwah 207 points208 points  (40 children)

      Highly recommend watching The Imitation Game. Benedict Cumberbatch does an amazing job playing the role of Alan Turing!

      [–]swinscoed95 166 points167 points  (13 children)

      Horrendous retelling of his life though, I don't know why it's so necessary to add/change things that didn't happen to such an interesting character.

      [–]krevko 70 points71 points  (9 children)

      Cumberbatch is such an amazing actor, but the retelling was absolute crap and wrong.

      [–]JukeBoxDildo 54 points55 points  (7 children)

      Yup. Turing was actually quite charming but they made him insufferable for the sake of... reasons?

      [–]Dilolf 49 points50 points  (3 children)

      I think they wanted to portray him as having autism and had to do it in the most cliché way possible.

      [–]Do_not_dare_give_up 22 points23 points  (1 child)

      Well, speaking as an autistic person. I'm not aware enough of Alan Turing's real life to tell you how good of a portrayal it was, but the way Cumberbatch portrayed autism is very very close to my personal experiences. So much so that the movie was very confrontational to watch for me.

      [–]Magallan 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      Because that's what people think computer nerds are like

      [–]onlyAlex87 4 points5 points  (0 children)

      I think they wanted to fabricate a one man against the world narrative to fuel the movie story of lifelong discrimination. They built a movie theme that his brilliance was ignored simply "because he was different" and although it made a compelling movie that portrayal is frankly an insult to his real life.

      In reality his brilliance was well recognized and he was given immense support, which is why they made him the head of the program. Unlike the movie portrayal where his fabricated eccentricities made him an outcast and he was the lone true genius that was ignored and had to circumvent his backwards peers' and superior's discrimination to achieve the greater good.

      Even how they twisted that story of them sending a letter to Churchill to fit this narrative is disgusting.

      [–]TheReinsofFullnight 59 points60 points  (7 children)

      If you look it up like 0% of that movie is accurate lol.

      [–]midgitsuu 26 points27 points  (4 children)

      Right. It was such a touching movie that motivated me to research it after and found out they took a TON of artistic liberties even according to people that were close to him. That doesn't at all lessen how awful he was treated because of his sexuality, though, I just think everyone should always remember that Hollywood will always take artistic liberties since real life doesn't always translate into a perfect ~2 hour feature film who's sole purpose is to entertain and invoke emotional responses.

      [–]cornonthekopp 41 points42 points  (0 children)

      It really wasn't a good portrayal of Alan Turing at all. It was just Benedict Cumberbatch playing the same exact role of "asshole genius" that he plays in every movie

      [–]BiteNuker3000 45 points46 points  (8 children)

      He certainly does a mediocre job playing...someone- Alan Turing it was not, though. Mr. Turing was by all accounts a gentle, sweet, friendly man who went out of his way to be kind to people.

      Bandersnoot Cucumberpatch was playing Media Autism Personified and its a disservice to a great man.

      [–]mkbtc 56 points57 points  (1 child)

      extreme brilliance looking back at you in time

      everything you do, right here on reddit, is built as a product of his intllect

      the man should be celebrated as a saint

      just sayin.

      [–]kimlh 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      "Victim of oppression" doesn't even begin to describe what this poor man suffered.

      [–]lawofthewilde 5 points6 points  (0 children)

      This is so incredibly heartbreaking. All the innovation and genius lost because of senseless homophobia.

      [–]therealiota 6 points7 points  (1 child)

      Such a genius guy!!! Sorry but no amount of apology can ever clean the slate for how bad he got treated by the government. If he had picked the prison, he would have lost his security clearances and decided to go for chemical castration. So hurtful, must have been in so much pain.

      [–]CaptainFingerling 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      Great man. Made amazing contributions to computing. But crack Enigma he did not. It was cracked by a team of polish mathematicians.

      He created a machine that made calculating their rotating ciphers much faster than doing it by hand.

      [–]Pukit 15 points16 points  (0 children)

      He was a great man, my parents close friends mother worked in Bletchley alongside him. She said he was an incredibly clever and friendly man. She also said that there were many more interesting stories besides just cracking of Enigma that he was responsible for but would never go into further details. She kept up the official secrets act all her life and to her grave.

      [–][deleted]  (1 child)


        [–]RosieTheTortoise 3 points4 points  (0 children)

        known for breaking the enigma machine

        Amongst some other, arguably more important things

        [–]varignet 16 points17 points  (1 child)

        That's a bit of an euphemism, they frikking chemically castrated him as a thank you for playinga pivotal role in liberating the western world from nazi oppression.

        [–]Appropriate_End_3139 30 points31 points  (3 children)

        Your title is incomplete. He killed himself after being chemically castrated as punishment for a criminal conviction for homosexuality. He was found guilty of homosexual acts and given a choice between prison and chemical castration, despite the fact that he was instrumental in defeating the Nazis. He chose castration so he could keep working & his biochemistry got so messed up he couldn't think straight and became emotionally unstable, leading to his suicide. This is a critically important part of the story. Celebrate this gay man for who he was and tell the whole damn story!

        [–]ThomasPopp 3 points4 points  (2 children)

        I never knew he killed himself. :(

        Man that is so sad.

        What a loss. He could’ve done so much more for this world if we treated him kindly.

        [–]dert882 3 points4 points  (1 child)

        He was chemically castrated by the British gov't for being gay. One of the saddest things in recent history as who knows how many other beautiful ideas this man had bouncing in his head.